As Schiff outlined the now-familiar contours of the Ukraine saga, the mood in the chamber seemed tense but resigned. The previous day’s proceedings to establish the rules of the trial had stretched until nearly 2 a.m., and the group weariness showed, with several lawmakers appearing to doze off during Schiff’s presentation.
By late afternoon, lawmakers were pacing, coming in and out of the chamber with great frequency and starting to openly ignore the rules that require them to stay silent during the proceedings…
As the sun set over the Capitol and staffers started to sort of dinner plans for a scheduled 6:30 p.m. half-time recess, the mood did indeed grow restless on the floor. Some seized on projected videos and slides as an excuse to leave their desks and move closer. Others wandered; at one point, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey stood hunched over his desk chair and then took leave and sat in the rear of the chamber in seats typically occupied by staff.
It wasn’t just Democrats showing signs of weariness as the only the first day of opening statements came to a close. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana at one point crossed his arms and paced at the rear of the GOP side.